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State Supreme Court 

Hunstein: Highly qualified and above the fray

The choice for the only contested seat on the Georgia Supreme Court this year is between a Bush political appointee with zero experience as a judge, and a sitting justice who's been a member of the state's highest court for longer than her opponent's been a lawyer.

Clearly, Justice Carol Hunstein is the more qualified candidate. She has a track record of standing up for the law, and a history -- contrary to her challenger's mudslinging -- of toeing neither the liberal nor the conservative line.

That's more than we can say for Mike Wiggins, deputy general counsel in the Department of Homeland Security. Though Hunstein has raised more than four times the campaign money of Wiggins, Wiggins' campaign is getting big bucks from the Safety & Prosperity Coalition, a special-interest political action committee bent on stacking the courts with puppets who would weaken labor, tax and environmental laws. The big-business PAC has dropped nearly $320,000 to influence the Supreme Court race.

"I feel as if my candidacy is not just about me winning re-election," says Hunstein, who was appointed to the court in 1992 by then-Gov. Zell Miller. "It's really about keeping Georgia's judiciary fair and impartial and out of partisan politics."

We hope Hunstein sends the same clear message to special interests that Georgia's chief justice, Leah Sears, sent in 2004, when she was targeted by a well-organized state GOP -- despite the fact that judge's races in Georgia are nonpartisan.

Sears soundly beat her opponent. So should Hunstein.


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